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Of the many books about decision making techniques, I have reviewed a few of them below and will add to the list as time goes by.
Each of these short reviews links to longer reviews with more specific details about the authors and the ideas outlined in each book.
Gary Klein defines intuition as the ability to put experience into practice. He suggests that as people build up their experiences, it allows them to recognise more and more patterns. This pattern recognition capability is the basis of expertise and it's what allows people to make more effective decisions.
He believes that intuition is a skill that can be learned and improved and throughout the book there are many exercises for doing just this. Even though he seems to belittle the rational, analytical aspect of decision making, he is actually advocating a combination of analysis and intuitive decision making.
This is one of my favorite books about decision making techniques, not just because it goes against much of the conventional wisdom, but because I think his model is more accurate to fact than the commonly accepted ones.
He sets out some important principles behind effective decision making, including the timing of decision making and what kinds of things are useful to make decisions about.
He spends some time discussing the use of time effectively. An effective executive knows exactly how he spends his time. He also says that an effective executive is being himself/herself rather than trying to be somebody else, puts attention on his/her strengths and what works rather than problems, and focuses on results and not efforts.
David Welch starts out describing the three parts of a decision and builds a nine step model of decision making.
This is quite an involved process which involves quite a lot of cognition and analysis, although he does suggest that some steps can be skipped at different times.
He does also cover some of the biases of decision making that we are all subject to.
Martin John Yate runs through a lot of decision making interview questions that interviewers use to make their decisions.
He also explains what information they are looking for, potential reasons for wanting it, and he suggests a variety of excellent answers.
He covers many aspects of interviews, including a chapter on 'The other side of the desk'.
Instead of looking at companies from the point of view of the boxes and lines of an organizational chart, they start with decision making as the basic unit.
They consider 4 important factors of effective decision making, quality, speed, yield and effort and then begin to organize companies around these aspects.
The authors, all of whom have extensive experience in the area, offer a service whereby they assess where a company is in relation to these 4 factors so that the organization knows where it needs to improve. Then they help to determine which are the top priority decisions for the company, and help set up a structure for making these decisions and align the other aspects of the organization (talent, culture, processes and procedures) with this decision making process.
Written by Spencer Johnson, this is the story of a young man who goes on a hike with a group of people who teach him how to make his own map for decision making by asking two particular questions.
This is one of the books about decision making techniques that combines the rational and intuitive approaches. It will prove useful for many, although even the intuitive aspect is overly head based.
Steven Hassan is an ex cult member who has dedicated over 30 years to helping victims of cult mind control.
This is a great book, detailing the state of affairs of cults in the world today, how they work, the techniques they use to create the pseudopersonality of the group members, and how to deal with someone you think might be in a cult.
You can read a fuller description of this marvelous, easy to understand book here...
Margaret Singer has spent over 50 years studying the cult phenomenon and thought reform.
In this book she lays out how cults have developed over the years and have become more sophisticated in their mind control techniques.
She also undoes many of the myths about cults and the members, explaining in detail how cults actively recruit people, using deception and lies to attract unsuspecting members of the public. Normal people. Like you!!
A lot of information here for people who are recovering from mind control and undoing the pseudopersonality. Read more...
Martha Stout is a psychologist who has worked with people who have suffered trauma for 25 years.
In The Sociopath Next Door she writes about sociopaths and the results they have on their victims.
She also examines in depth the idea of conscience, what it is, it's history, what it does for us, how it works and what happens when a person does not have a conscience. The introduction is a great description of what's possible without a conscience.
She offers ideas on how to spot a sociopath and her 13 rules for dealing with a sociopath.
If you want an in depth review, read more...
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